Fashion Focus: Quick 5 With Nida Mahmood

Sue Castellino , 23 Dec 2011
Nida Mahmood
Nida Mahmood

Fashion designer Nida Mahmood has been in the news paper for many reasons this year but none more exciting than her ‘electric’ garments being appreciated by Lady Gaga. She also collaborated with Absolut vodka and Rahul Chandra to make a fashion art installation that took inspiration from India with a kitsch twist. I caught up with Nida to give us the Quick 5 about her life right now.

Sue: What did it feel like for your garment to be picked by Lady Gaga?
Nida: It was a very surreal feeling, more so because when I was designing these two dresses, these dresses are from my latest collection call the great Indian bohemian tamasha, I was thinking to myself that there is no one else but Lady Gaga who should be wearing these. Well what do you know, I get a call from Red Chillies that I must design a dress for Lady Gaga during her visit to India.

LED dress
LED dress

Sue: Where did the idea of using LED lights in your garments come from?
Nida: Street theater, drama, performance, adrenalin rush, lights, fashion etc. were some of the words we were playing with during making of the latest collection called the great Indian bohemian tamasha which was inspired by street theater. I thought lights were the perfect synonym for performance and show-time and thus evolved the idea of using LED lights.

Sue: If you had to design another outfit for Lady Gaga, what would the main inspiration be?
Nida: Theatrics and performance will be the core. She is larger than life and has the ability to take any shape and form she likes. I’d call it a beautiful chameleon!

Nida Mahmoods's creations
Nida Mahmoods's creations

Sue: How did you and Rahul Chandra come up with up with the idea of using an kitsch/ pop art theme for the Absolut Mode installation?
Nida: The idea emerged form the expression of the word mode in a seamless blending of fashion on the runways with that in a humble tailor shop. We are artist who are inspired by grass root India and the simple things that move us as people. For us it is important to connect with the real sights and sounds of what makes four a colloquial India. Imagery for us is very important getting the right nuances in place is key to us. For the present installation we wanted to depict the seamless blending of the two diverse spaces, but at the core of it, it had to have the same soul. This thought led us to create Absolut Mode. Further went on to using LED lights because for us the runway or the tailor shop signify theatrics and drama. We found the LED lights to be that perfect symbol of grand theater that fashion and art have come to become on our canvas.


Sue: What was it like working with Rahul Chandra on the Absolut Mode project.
Nida: It’s always wonderful to work with him, which is why we are partners. We think alike and have a common vision on things. Similar subject move us and we are very passionate about the kind of art we do.

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